Unionist charged, Botswana strike drags on

2011-05-28 09:23

A Botswana union leader yesterday said his arrest on assault charges was part of government attempts to end a month-long civil service strike.

Pelotshweu Baeng, former president of the Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union, was released on 200 pula (about R202) bail yesterday.

Baeng, who still works for the union, was arrested on Wednesday on charges stemming from a scuffle at a gathering of striking workers.

 He denies the charges.

As he emerged from a magistrate court in the capital Baeng told supporters: “The issue of the detention should be seen as part of the struggle of workers in this country.

“The detention and many more to come will serve as a source of inspiration because our country is falling into economic and democratic collapse.”

Government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay said allegations that union leaders were being detained as a tactic to break the strike were “nonsensical”.

Moeti Mohwasa, spokesperson for the opposition Botswana National Front, called Baeng’s arrest part of a crackdown on striking workers and said another official of Baeng’s union was briefly detained last week on charges of inciting violence.

Civil servants, whose last raise was in 2008, initially demanded a 16% increase but have dropped that to 12%.

The government, with income from crucial diamond exports slowed by the global recession, initially offered 5% but now is offering 3%.
 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.